Flowers happy to have Pierzynski's back

Flowers happy to have Pierzynski's back

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A.J. Pierzynski and Tyler Flowers will make up the White Sox catching tandem when the 2012 regular season begins on April 6 in Texas, working together with the team's pitching staff.

That work already has begun, according to Flowers, with the veteran Pierzynski mentoring the younger catcher during time spent in Arizona. As an example, Flowers pointed out a discussion they had recently about handling plays at the plate and potential collisions.

"We talked about the [Buster] Posey situation and what [Pierzynski] does to avoid it," said Flowers, referring to the collision that cost the Giants' catcher his 2011 season. "It definitely helped me out, educated me on the situation.

"I have a tendency to drop a knee, like if you have to stretch for it, kind of like a first baseman, and the back knee straightens and drops down. He reminded me of the importance of not doing that and staying on your feet. If you get hit, you get tumbled over.

"He pays attention to all the little details," said Flowers of Pierzynski. "Obviously, the guy has been hurt once in 11 or 12, whatever years. He's doing some stuff right. That's the little kind of things that protect himself."

Flowers put Pierzynski's words into action on Monday, when the Dodgers' James Loney tried to score from first on A.J. Ellis' double. Of course, there was no collision in the first Cactus League game, but Flowers took the relay throw from Gordon Beckham and tagged out Loney.

It's more than just plate coverage being talked about by these catchers.

"That's just one example. We've actually had a fair bit of communication this year," said Flowers, adding that he feels a hair more comfortable knowing he has a job. "We've talked about game calling, a number of things.

"Trying to get pitchers back in the strike zone, especially early in spring, when people are a little bit rusty. There have been some other ideas to get the feel back for them and such. It has been very good."